Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Supreme Court Denies Review In Abortion Case, But Thomas Urges Future Action

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme court denied certiorari in Harris v. West Alabama Women's Center, (Docket No. 18-837, certiorari denied 6/28/2019). In the case, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Alabama's ban on dilation and evacuation abortions (referred to in the Alabama statute as "dismemberment abortions").  Justice Thomas filed a separate opinion concurring in the denial of review, but making a strong plea for the Court to revisit its abortion decisions.  He said in part:
The notion that anything in the Constitution prevents States from passing laws prohibiting the dismembering of a living child is implausible. But under the “undue burden” standard adopted by this Court, a restriction on abortion—even one limited to prohibiting gruesome methods—is unconstitutional if “the ‘purpose or effect’ of the provision ‘is to place a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.’” ...
This case serves as a stark reminder that our abortion jurisprudence has spiraled out of control....  Although this case does not present the opportunity to address our demonstrably erroneous “undue burden” standard, we cannot continue blinking the reality of what this Court has wrought.